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[METHOD] My first few thousand in IM - Lessons Learnt

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by codo3500, May 22, 2011.

  1. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I've been a member here for a while, and have learnt heaps. While I'm a Sales Director for a Web Company, I like to do some IM on the side for fun, it's more of a hobby than anything, but find it very interesting.

    So after a few almost-successful campaigns, I came up with a great idea. So here is the method (I won't give niche, but some will work it out as this hit various forums very hard).

    1. I found a D-Grade Viral Celebrity who's name was getting 50k+ Exact Searches per month. I investigated, and found that there was no real marketing push from them.

    2. I approached them, and after 4 un-replied attempts to contact them, I simply wrote the following email:
    SUBJECT: I'll give you $100 via paypal if you don't like my idea - business proposal
    MESSAGE: Call me to discuss, #### ### ###, I am 100% serious about the $100 if you don't like my idea, let's make some money together.

    3. I got a call within 5 minutes (literally), and proposed an eBook in this celebrities niche on a 50/50 split. I told them I'd write the eBook, and have them look over it for approval.

    4. I bought an exact match domain (.com wasn't available though) and begun SEO with a 2-week pre-order campaign. I also bought an exact match for a similar slightly longer tail, and put content up.

    5. I done my own link-wheel, had 5x web 2.0's, bought some xrumer profiles, scrapeboxed 25k links to these, and 1k links to my main from the highest PR links I scraped. I linked EVERYTHING to the long-tail domain, put it in Google Webmaster tools .etc along with the main.

    6. I done FB Ads for the Pre-Order to the main, made good coin

    7. After the longtail domain jumped up the ranks to within the top 5 and I didn't get sandboxed, I went in Webmaster tools, and said "Site Moved" to the main. I then 301 re-directed everything.

    8. I started hitting the main with the same strategy as with the longtail, got to #1 within a week, selling a decent amount of pre-orders.

    9. I made a considerable amount of cash on pre-orders before the book was even written.

    10. I wrote the book, done a sick design (I used to be a designer), got it approved by the minor celeb, and we were good to go.

    11. I upgraded my server to a VPS on Hostgator (Mistake #1).

    12. I uploaded the book to Wordpress eStore (Mistake #2) with PDF Stamper and all.

    13. Celeb hit his fan pages with the link - Site went down within 15 seconds. Thanks Hostgator.

    14. I rang Hostgator, had it back up within 5 minutes.

    15. Made a killing for 10 minutes.

    16. eStore is very vulnerable - unencrypted link went VIRAL. Every forum related to the niche, got posted on the facebook Fan Pages, everywhere. Sales stopped.

    17. Still #1 - still selling a few books, trying not to think about how much money was lost.

    Lessons Learnt
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-

    1. Don't listen to everyone who says it's impossible to rank for high traffic keywords - pick a niche that no-one is trying to market, and make your own product. Pay someone to make it, who cares, just make a market of your own that didn't exist.

    2. I don't know whether my 301 redirect idea is effective, I was paranoid about sandbox (never been hit there, just heard about it), and decided to think outside of the box. It's an obscure idea, not sure if it's any good, but it worked for me, and I have results from it.

    3. Don't trust Hostgator. They're fucking liars. I spoke with their tech support 5 times and they guaranteed me I'd get 20mbps when I needed it. Judging by the possible traffic, I've done the maths - it shouldn't have gone down.

    4. Don't rely on a Wordpress out-of-the-box eCommerce system to protect your book. This is your gold, protect it properly. I was once a programmer, I could've written my own software for this, but was lazy and used something off the shelf - never again.

    5. Don't pick a celebrity that has a bunch of haters. The celeb I picked had twice as many people hate them as loved them, and out of spite, I got hacked.

    6. Don't rush things. Take your time, think things out, and thoroughly plan every possible outcome. I was in a hurry due to excitement - if I wasn't, I could've made an easy 50k, instead, It's NOWHERE near that.

    7. Beware of Karma - I was using pirated software to build this site from start to finish, and pirates are what cost me my fortune - Karma is a bitch, so I'm copping this sweet.


    We live and we learn, hopefully you can learn from my experience guys.

    Good luck!
     
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  2. dog-tag

    dog-tag Senior Member

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    Real good post!! Loved your thinking... it's only in the last few months I've stopped trying to do what (insert guru name) told me to and I'm doing my own thing and getting big results because I've no competition.

    I get the feeling your abit annoyed with yourself but you should be delighted you've cooked up a method that works and now have experience doing it. I'm sure next time round you'll make a kiling... and I wouldn't be surpirsed if any celebs start recommending you to each other... you never know!
     
  3. kupo

    kupo Junior Member

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    So you pirated Wordpress eStore?

    Which pirated software did you use to build your site?
     
  4. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    Here's the one I used, grabbed it off here!:
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...orm-wp-emember-wp-estore-premium-plugins.html

    While on the surface it's great, it's insecure. Most markets would be fine, I picked a niche that had a whole heap of haters and trolls amongst it, so it got abused.

    And yes I'm a bit annoyed, but I make plenty from my normal business, so it was more about having some fun doing something new. I spent sleepless nights writing the book, but learnt alot about the niche while doing it (and really enjoyed it).

    Hopefully some newbies can learn from my mistakes, and turn my method into something killer. Let's start the clock until someone turns this into a WSO and smashes the market with it! haha.

    If anyone has any questions, post them here, I'm happy to help, as plenty of members on here were of great assistance with this project.
     
  5. mohitjmehta

    mohitjmehta BANNED BANNED

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    first of all congrats!
    method is really nice ONLY one question
    how did u get celebrity name and contact details?
     
  6. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    I was fortunate enough that this celebrity was active on some niche-related forums, with a bit of searching, I actually tracked down their gmail address. Apparently they get HEAPS of offers, but no-one ever:
    - Backs their idea (i.e. putting up $100)
    - Offers to do EVERYTHING and simply pay for the use of the name

    That's the real secret to it in my opinion, showing you're the real deal.
     
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  7. ody777

    ody777 BANNED BANNED

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    Excellent post, but what did you write in the ebook? Celeb biography?..
     
  8. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    It was actually a guide, related to the niche they're famous for being involved in. It was almost 100 pages long and I knocked it out in 2 nights of solid work. It has mixed reviews, but a lot of people have learned a lot from it, which is excellent.
     
  9. Scipio00

    Scipio00 Regular Member

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    What kind of book did you write?

    Did you write it on your own or did you outsource it?

    I can´t imagine that a famous person will risk her name with an 12 pages ebook. So was this ebook about her life or something else?

    THX!
     
  10. fruity_looper

    fruity_looper Junior Member

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    I applaud your hard work, planning and taking action!
    If codo3500 can do something like this anyone can!

    Biggest problem for people is taking action, I myself was in the same boat too, planning planning, planning then never taking action.
    But after a while you know what you want you reach for it and start your journey!

    Sure your estore was vunerable but you made some $$$ and learnt quite a few lessons and we can all take those mistakes as notes and make sure we don't do the same.

    Thank You once again codo3500 for your story! :D
     
  11. _Chip_

    _Chip_ Senior Member

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    100 pages ebook in 2 nights, and you had a worldwide release!
    man, you are real genius!

    I think, you can't really do anything, about the ebook download link, people can always buy the book, upload it to rapidshare and spread!
     
  12. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    Haha, thank you very much, I really appreciate it,

    We're talking solid nights, absolutely no sleep for 72 hours (as I had a huge workload with my normal business), thank god for redbull!

    Also, I used PDF Stamper to try and "Name and Shame" any offenders uploading it, printing their PayPal details on every page - so if the unencrypted link didn't get out it might've taken at least a day or two of me collecting cash before some bastard ripped that out and posted it everywhere lol.

    To be honest guys, I knew I wouldn't take action either, and would keep putting it off due to my busy schedule. So that's why I put a release date on the pre-order - I locked myself in, and gave myself no choice than to push through.

    In hindsight, this is one of my reasons for the ultimate failure and not being prepared enough, so make sure if you do set yourself a firm deadline it's realistic.

    The celeb was a very knowledgable one, and said the book was awesome. While I had some knowledge about the niche, it took HEAPS of research.

    How I went about writing the book was:
    1. Research what other similar books were out there, and what they covered.
    2. Combined this, and made a bunch of headings, sub-headings, and sub-sub-headings in word.
    3. Filled the headings one by one, rewarding myself with another redbull for every major heading I knocked over. I done my research while writing so it was fresh and I had a complete understanding at the point of writing.
    4. Had a friend who is very knowlegeable to this niche read it cover to cover and make amendments and suggestions. Implement this and proof-read myself.
    5. Moved it to InDesign and made it look sick
     
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    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  13. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    It was an eBook about the niche they're famous for being in, and essentially a guide.

    All up was a bit under 100 pages, and I wrote every page myself, 100% unique content, which was a merger of me researching out of a hardcopy book (a 500 page one), forums, other eBooks, blogs, and websites.
     
  14. aStroke

    aStroke Regular Member

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    Wow this is impressive. Talk about thinking outside of the box. So to understand what you did better, I'm going to try to restate what you did with an example.

    So basically you contact Rebecca Black, get her to agree to give you rights to make an ebook on "How to make a crappy song viral". You SEO a buffer site, 301 it to your main after it hits #1 for "Rebecca Black". Date a launch date, generate hype on Rebecca Black forums, singing forums or whatever. Then launch and make money.

    What parts of my made up story were off?
     
  15. KlaAz0r

    KlaAz0r BANNED BANNED

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    I found my own ebook shared on other forums, even if only 200 copies sold,thath is why i hate pdf, and make everything member sites nowdays, dlguard is a great script
     
  16. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    That's about right dude!

    Now, in hindsight, here are some things I would now do differently:
    1. I actually only got the 'buffer site' onto the first page and not to #1, if you want to hit really hard, why not have a few buffer sites, and whatever one does best, redirect it, and the rest, just kill them. If you hit first page, you know you've dodged the sandbox, and it should be time to start building up your money site.

    2. I didn't do much of a pre-launch actually. I didn't hit forums, just $20 worth of adwords and $60 worth of FB Ads, which both had an awesome ROI. Word got around a little bit, but no-one knew if it was a scammer pretending to be the celeb, or indeed the celeb. I would have the celeb post a "My book comes out in 10 days! Check out the site and pre-order!" - it would generate so much more hype! And - if someone torrents it, you already made most of your cash on pre-orders anyway. Even give a small discount on pre-orders.
     
  17. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    SubMethod:

    I forgot to add, I don't know how much this influenced my rankings, but I got do follow links from Flickr on related photo's by throwing in the following code (I done over 100 saying "Can I use your photo? - Anchor Text" or similar:

    HTML:
    <a href="http://www.website.com#http://www.flickr.com/photos/">Anchor Text</a>
     
  18. aStroke

    aStroke Regular Member

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    I love it haha. Maybe in the future if you do this again, include an affiliate link in there somewhere to ensure that you don't lose everything once it leaks. A D-list celeb is still a celeb and will get enough publicity to keep the ebook alive for as long as his career lasts.
     
  19. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    Agreed, the site is still making money to this day, and I think it'll continue to. Probably not much, but if it makes me a few hundred per month on auto-pilot, who am I to argue :p
     
  20. Woerd

    Woerd Regular Member

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    May I ask you for how much per piece you sold the e-book?